Free victorian age papers, essays, and research papers.
To our eyes, the Victorians seem very inconsistent in terms of their attitudes toward children. Child-worshippers who waxed rhapsodic about the perfect purity of children simultaneously eroticized them. Even as sentimentality about childhood reached new heights, the notion that all children are savages likewise gained widespread support; many Victorians accepted the “Law of Recapitulation,” which stipulated that as a child develops, he or she repeats the stages of development of the human race. This belief in “the savagery of all children and the childishness of all savages” served a justification for subjecting children to harsh discipline, and natives of other countries to the rule of the expanding British Empire (Cunningham 98).
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The qualities of each of the ages are those which are naturally proper to the planet compared with it.—
For up to about the fourth year, the moon takes over the age of infancy: suppleness, lack of fixity in body, quick growth, changeability of condition, and the imperfection and inarticulate state of soul.
In the following ten years of childhood, Mercury begins to articulate and fashion the intelligent and logical part of the soul, to implant certain seeds and rudiments of learning, and to bring to light individual peculiarities of character and faculties, awakening the soul.
Venus, taking charge in the third age, that of youth, for the next eight years, begins to inspire an impulse toward the embrace of love.
Why is it, that the soul looks
On its once fair, now faded track,
When Youth and Hope, so fondly bright,
Would still direct its flight?
In Manhood's more advancéd years,
We look on youth, and e'en its ,
All fondly beaming on our gaze,
Seem bright thro' intervening days.
Such joyous freshness hath that time,
So pure the sunshine of its clime,
That turning back, those days to hail,
Bright Fiction lends to Truth her veil,
And o'er each scene of care or woe
Its brighter tints will gently throw:—
Thus sleeps on Midnight's darker hue
The zone that girds her robe of blue.
~Robert Howe Gould, "Poetic Musings, Addressed to a Lady," 1840
The arctic loneliness of age.
Historical Essays: The Victorian Child
According to Holmes, “the nature of legal language can obscure and hide the social interests and social advantages to some that a law promotes.” Holmes view about legal language is that law promotes social goodness for people but the manner in which the language of law is interpreted can be a block to providing equal justice to all human beings....
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~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, , 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière
Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time hath made.
There is still no cure for the common birthday.
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When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange — my youth.
The surest sign of age is loneliness.
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~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), , 1897
It is autumn; not without
But within me is the cold.
Youth and spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Autumn Within"
Life is one long process of getting tired.
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When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of forty is simply a loss of energy.